Prokhorov's Intergeo seeks IPO or share placing-sources

MOSCOW Fri Feb 1, 2013 12:33pm GMT

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MOSCOW Feb 1 (Reuters) - Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's mining company Intergeo is looking to launch either a private placement or an initial public offering of stock in Toronto, two sources said on Friday.

The company is preparing for an IPO before the summer, one source said, while a second said it is seeking a private placement with up to three Russian investors to raise around $200 million, while an IPO would depend on the market.

Prokhorov, who built his fortune in metals and mining, is also close to a deal to sell his Onexim company's 38 percent stake in Russia's biggest gold miner, Polyus Gold, sources have said.

The tycoon, who has a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at $13 billion, lost out to Vladimir Putin in last year's presidential elections and has said he will step back from business in order to focus on politics.

Intergeo, which Prokhorov owns with former Norilsk Nickel executive Maxim Finsky, filed a preliminary IPO prospectus with Canadian regulators last May.

The company was set up in 2008 by Onexim to develop 11 large fields containing copper, nickel, molybdenum, titanium and platinum group metals - assets that it acquired in Prokhorov's business breakup with former partner Vladimir Potanin.

Potanin initially challenged the asset transfer, orchestrated by Finsky, but these claims faded and Prokhorov went on to secure near complete control of the company in September 2011.

Questions surrounding the creation of Intergeo caused a delay to a merger of Canada's White Tiger Gold and Century Mining, in which Finsky had secured control, but which was eventually completed.

The banks leading the Intergeo offering are Morgan Stanley and BMO Capital Markets, according to the company's May IPO announcement.

Intergeo and Onexim declined comment.